The project intends to examine the past to enlighten the present about the increased online public access to knowledge made available thanks to new technologies fostering and resulting in the digitization and massive disclosure of data, with largely positive, but fairly problematic, effects. Technologically unprecedented and massive in magnitude, the ongoing process has, nonetheless, historical precedent: the appearance of encyclopedias in the 12th-18th centuries, which were transformative in transmitting ideas and knowledge, particularly after adoption of the printing press. 

With a seminar organized by the Center of Social and Cultural History of the West (CHiSCO-EA1587), the project seeks to explore past processes of disclosure and popularization of knowledge in traditional societies over the longue durée, with a comparative component element on the Muslim region.

Project Leader

Franck COLLARD , Université Paris Nanterre

Internal cluster partners

  • French National Library (BnF)

Associated partners

Center of Historical Research: History of Authorities, Knowledge, and Societies (CRH, EA 1571)

Center of social et cultural history of the near and middle East (CHISCO, EA1587)


1 year